I’ve never been a small fella. Back when I was about 18 I was about 260 pounds. Back then I wasn’t a bit worried about it either. My whole family were pretty large too and it never stopped me doing what I wanted to do.
From time to time as I grew up, I decided it was time to try and change. I went through fad diets, well intentioned gym memberships that lasted six months, but I didn’t have the heart to cancel after failing to go for another six months at a time. All the usual. Every time I would lose a little weight and feel a little better but in the end, I would fall back into my old ways and end up bigger than ever.
Even though I secretly always hated the way I looked, (I loathed having my picture taken. It’s taken me since we met in Newcastle until now to find a few). I always justified it that I wasn’t that big and even if I was, it didn’t matter. That was until one day, it did.
One day I noticed I had a pain in my leg, that turned out to be a large swelling full of some nasty liquid that had to be drained by a doctor.
This started happening over and over. It took a couple of years of antibiotics and a trip to a specialist to discover it was a skin disease called hidradenitis suppurativa. These lumps kept popping up and leaving scars behind, eventually requiring surgery.
To make matters worse, the medication they gave me led to a ton of side effects. This triggered a whole batch of other problems and my health kept getting worse.
Before I knew it, I was up to 340 pounds with chronic back pain and a walking stick. If I tried to walk my dog I had to stop two or three times in the 10 minutes I could manage.
As a young man, I was fairly supple and did a ton of martial arts. Now I couldn’t even bend over more than about 45 degrees.
The doctors did their best to help and I ended up being prescribed about 12 pain killers a day, as well as anti-inflammatories, nerve blockers and some other stuff to stop my stomach lining breaking from all the other meds.
I fell into a pretty deep depression and ended up having to leave my job and be stuck at home.
I have always been a huge wrestling mark, so one day while at home, I was listening to the Steve Austin Podcast, he plugged a program called DDP Yoga. After looking into it and seeing what it had done for DDP and then Arthur, I decided to try it for myself.
It took a little while to get the funds together but fast forward to November last year and my DDP Yoga max pack arrived. After reading through everything and cutting a promo to my wife, we changed our eating plan according to the advice in the book.
At the same time as the dietary changes, I started the workout plan using the DDP Yoga App that came with the pack. I am not alone in this however. After talking to my friends about it, a few of them joined in and now we have our own little 5-man crew who train together.
On the very first day I took the first selfie I can ever remember taking of my sweaty post training face and sent it out to the others, in the hopes that they would be motivated by it and hit it hard too. This has become a tradition for us all and we all send them out to spur each other on. It really helps on the days when you want to make an excuse not to get on with it, but you see that everyone else did, so you have to right?
We started at intermediate and have now finished the advanced program a couple of times, adding in the live workouts and even the extreme ones. I remember looking at the extreme workout and laughing that it was so far outside my reach that if I could ever do half of it, it would be a miracle.
The day we completed it for the first time was a truly proud moment!
When I first set out, I decided that I was going to give myself one year to get back to 260 pounds. I got there in less than six months of sweat and stretching!
These days I am down to 224. The last time I was this light I was 16 years old and I’m fitter and stronger than I have ever been.
As I sit here today, things have never been better. I have a job I love, I wake up every day happy and pain free. Gone are the pills and the walking stick and I can bend over and touch my legs with my head for the first time in my life.
Now it’s time for a new goal. The new plan is to work up the funds to become the first certified instructor with the program in my country and try and help others like DDP has helped me.
The program has given me my life back and I’ve loved every minute of it.
Thanks again Dallas. Words can never express what you’ve done for me and I’ll continue to sing your praises to anyone who will listen.